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Deborah Kalb; Marvin Kalb Education. (2011) Deborah & Marvin Kalb ('Haunting Legacy Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama.') New.

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Afghanistan 14, Marvell 5, Ronald Reagan 3, United States 3, America 3, Bernie 3, Pakistan 3, Libya 3, Iraq 3, U.s. 3, Us 3, Walter Cronkite 2, Obama 2, Bruce 2, Kuwait 2, Grenada 2, Hanoi 2, Vietnam 2, Jimmy Carter 2, South 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Deborah Kalb; Marvin Kalb  Education.  (2011) Deborah &  
   Marvin Kalb ('Haunting Legacy Vietnam and the American...  

    July 24, 2011
    8:00 - 9:00pm EDT  

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>> when i was bureau chief jeff with four it abc in hong kong and then in 1971 when i came back to the united states as diplomatic correspondent i was blessed
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to have marvell as a competitor. as many of you know, , our friends south 10 to become the people who have been our competitors because by definition, we don't have reporters from our network but we only trouble with competitors. i am grateful to have had those brothers as our competitors and we will begin a few words although i must say i m in nervous as a tactical mistake to put a microphone in bernie's hand. [laughter] once there it will be difficult to extract. [laughter] >> do i have half an hour? >> no. would you set the scene by reminding them than the people in the audience may not be old enough to
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remember how did we get sell intricately involved in vietnam in the first place? >> that began by saying this is a night of heavy dwelling. i have my dear brother and a niece and my friend and the three that will provide extraordinary insight into the writing of the book the perception and analysis in the book and altogether i would like to add over the years i have learned -- earned a reputation for being absolutely fearless as a reporter the famous for my object 70 in under the influence by anybody. [laughter] and i've read like to offer a review of this book of levin this spirit i call it a rave review. [laughter] it is ironic to see marvin and debbie here writing a book about the vietnam. after all i made my first
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visit to vietnam and 1956. do the arithmetic. obviously devi was not on the scene but in 1956 marvell and could not read or write or pontificate her. [laughter] but i see the book and a pager really encourage you to read is the dedication. [laughter] it is marvell less. i told marvell and i always buy all the books that are dedicated to me. desperately ironic. i have talked to marvell in my visit to vietnam war and less a bit for "the new york times" in many years for cbs news and lucky tonight we are lucky to have someone who wrote the first great book one generation ago
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erodes the great book called vietnam's. [applause] marvin and debbie taking a bite of this story is extraordinary. for many people did not has drifted off the front page even of their emotions it but it never lets go. i have the deal i'd do not let go of it and it does not let go of me i go as often as i can imus have been there about eight times in the past decade and a seven my tie mostly in the enemy capital of hanoi this will let me speak with greater authority. [laughter] hanoi is my place and saigon we fizzled through that but this is a night to celebrate their book.
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debbie and marvin. i have gone through ridiculously searching for errors. [laughter] but so far i have read the book twice they said it is not necessary for me to memorize it. [laughter] but i find the overdue contribution to literature to vietnam. is the 800-pound gorilla always in the oval office when the president has some make a decision about "war and peace." it does not go away. the gripping impact on america. we know those years who were around in those days. so to catch up bell haunting legacy may it stay there
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insanity and wisdom and present -- prudence before we embark on a curious inventors. thank you. [applause] >> if you're bernie and a niece ignore my question is successfully as you did it will be a long evening. [laughter] no, no, no. you cannot have many second chances. that is it this story is told of winston churchill at a dinner which he clearly did not enjoy returning to his hostess to say about the desert, madam, this pudding has no theme. debbie, what is the theme of your book? >> i think there is a number of themes but the main one
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is that vietnam's does not go away in every president has to do with it. it is there every time i have to make a decision and it is there in the politics of in terms of what happens what they serve your didn't serve it does not go away in that is the theme that carries through the book. >> but yet to be a non clearly has affected different presidents in the diametrically opposed fashion? >> sometimes. that there are two levels. on one level you have to imagine what are the major influences of all the presidents when they have to decide about sending troops to fight? the vietnam coast is there
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all the time. each president operates in his own environment and his own time. so while the overall ghost is there you will get a different response. for example,, 1983, 241 american marines are murdered in beirut lebanon. by a terrorist group known to the president and the people love around the president they knew where they were but yet ronald reagan decided because the american people were spooked by vietnam he did not want to put them through another experience like that. so after the killing of 231 americans coming he did nothing and that was
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remarkable because of the non but on the other side go to the present like bush i the iraqis go into kuwait and is seen as a direct threat to the united states broke he decides to do something and pursuant to the powell doctrine which is a direct consequence of the vietnam's or he since 500,000 marines and troops to do something powell told us later could be done at 180,000, but because of vietnam he wanted to send in overloading the circuits to make sure the job is done and you go in to do it fast and get out. that idea is so different from our experience of
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vietnam. but is always shadowed. >> come to the present day. here we are engaged although not on the ground but in libya with the u.s. interest , a significant u.s. interest appears to be involved and we have no sense how we get out again. the engagement to the degree it is rather to mid. has sought a function of the non as perceived by obama's? >> the libya situation it does go right back to be a non with more congressional involvement in the argument between the executive and congress over who is in
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charge of sending troops inflating what constitutes fighting in how do you define that? that is what is going on in the hill today about whether it was okay to send the troops and if they should be stopped. that goes back to what was happening. >> read appears to have come in go further in the past 40 years they and where we were. the vote in that house was against funding of the military action but it is meeting less. >> they will continue the funding and what was striking is when the united states got involved was one of the things obama's said right from the beginning, our involvement will be measured in days.
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not weeks. why did he say that? because this is a smart, well read president who reads history of the time, i am told. vietnam's is very much on his mind and he did not want to convey the impression to the american people we're getting sucked into something that could be another vietnam. this was a man who went campaigning in 2008, he went off to do the obligatory trip and was going there with senator jack reed and chuck hagel from nebraska. it is a 14 hour flight from washington into kuwait. for most of that 14 hours
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according to both senators, what was on this senator's mind was a vietnam and the lessons because he was going to afghanistan and the iraq and wanted to learn from these two men what was the relevance and is a possible i missing something? and kept asking questions about vietnam over and over again there were both amazed that he sat there and listen to in the first time going into his first national security council meeting, the first point* he makes to his people is "afghanistan on is not vietnam" why does he have to say that at the beginning embassy thinks there is a possibility of getting into another vietnam? and bruce who does books for the brookings press at that
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time was thinking through the firstenergy paper on of guinness and into bruce told less the ghost of vietnam walk the corridors of the white house every day. >> period explain to me how would is those close can affect different presidents in such extraordinarily different fashion. for example,, a jimmy carter trying to go into iran to rescue the hostages and up with a disaster on his hands. thing you have george h. to be bush who you just said send 500,000 troops into iraq and kuwait.
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theoretically the same lessons to be drawn but yet here are president's trying diametrically opposed. >> the same lessons but different people functioning with different political climate's and to see issues in different ways. the ada to see it one way and a democrat another is abc but what i find especially interesting is as the years go bayou would think the war ended in 1975 why does it bother me today? but it is. how you respond as an individual depends on the politics of the moment somebody may feel you have to go in full bore sending in many more troops that you
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need a lawyer with the bombing in libya this will be done in a couple of days. you can go either direction but you go for the pressure from the memory of vietnam producing. >> challenge do that est. partisan issue i will challenge you on that. ronald reagan if ever a president in recent memory has a reputation of being broad shouldered and tough and not taking crap from anybody is ronald reagan. but as you point* out, 2241 u.s. marines being killed and what you did not add was the intelligence showed them that the iranians and
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syrians were directly involved in the creation of what was a completely new found organization hezbollah. >> it is in the book. [laughter] he did nothing. he did worse than nothing and pulled those marines were in lebanon at the time in to waiting ships offshore then off they went nobody said a word about a because fortunately for president reagan, there was another war. a tiny one in a successful one. grenada that took place at exactly the same time but here is the essence of the republican tough guy who reacted to vietnam in a fashion that could have done any liberal democrat proud.
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>> when i approach the research on that chapter and was thinking about reagan come i approach it with memories never again that i carry with me even at the time i was covering them which is hollywood, an actor, there is no great depth but i have to tell you that reading his diary and the letter that he wrote, the thousands of letters over a lifetime of politics if you have any fairness within new you have to judge this man in a totally different way. that is one of the things that i learned by the way of researching the reagan chapter. i had a different sense than i had the floor that is one
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of the wonderful things of doing a book of this sort to be at my side men as you discover zero whole new world. it is a most exciting phenomenon. >> finish that thought. house? >> mihm not saying it is different. >> he said after you read that too. >> what i mean it is i appreciate it the man in a more broader way and is saying to myself with my understanding of this man is says something about journalism to me. we approach the coverage of somebody to simplistically
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and we ought to be more fair to the president's who have this enormous responsibility and sending people off to die. looking at the middle east a lot of people could have said no. i will not do it. that he did not want the american people to be scooped again. because it was reagan, he could use grenada and language and the wonderful shouldered gesture and people say it is all okay because reagan says so. >> i was struck as i read the book with what you said with one notable exception. all of the president's comments may be too, most of the presidency since ford come out looking better and
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stronger retrospective. in the only exceptions are jimmy carter and george w. >> if it is a great question because jimmy carter did not come out looking so great because that last part of the chapter had to do with the i iran hostage situation the failed rescue attempt but the first part of that he was doing fairly well with a lot of differences of the middle east but completely undone by the hostage situation and the outcome of that rescued miss chen -- rescue mission so it stopped before that in viewed as something in terms of foreign policy but i do
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think it was the last year of the presidency that is why he came out in that way. >> what about george w.? >> he was completely, the 9/11 anatol war on terrorism overshadow that chapter as it did his whole presidency and i think we were working on this book during the whole time. not the entire presidency but the second half. that chapter on bush at the time of the end of his presidency there were situations going on that were unresolved and not going well. it is not the situation you want to say here is a very
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successful outcome as he was leaving office. so is both of by iraq and afghanistan war then we get into the two chapters of obama we still deal with afghanistan and that still continues in is in the news this week as well. >> there was 19 that i mentioned to you in the president's speech to the nation a couple of nights ago. i don't have the information but it was a reference to a late in the distance and on think anyone here over the age of 500 or 60 must have sought to there was a light off in the distance.
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i still remember lyndon johnson talking about that light at the end of the tunnel. and how the joke was probably some vietcong. [laughter] mariska is a deep sadness that i feel to even raise that. he knows that. he knows about the light at the end of the tunnel. that is why he played around with the phraseology. that is what he is thinking in what is in his mind. to me, that is very sad because it suggests that the end of the day he really doesn't know how we will get out of their. he plays with different formulas kicking the can down the road. when he started december 2009 saying he will have the surge troops go in
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in that was 30,000. they did not get there until the tail end of the summer so they have won fighting season and they claim to have done quite well. but at this point* you can be sympathetic to the military point* of view to say if you want to get another two or three seasons you could hurt the other guys. general petraeus told the number of his people the most important thing for us right now is to hurt them and turn them bowed. and then they will come to the negotiating table to strike a deal. i have the highest respect but the only thing wrong with that idea it is the taliban has the totally different vision of what is going on. they may have in mind save
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whatever you like mr. president. we are here and we will be here long after you leave. >> you took my next question and have already begun to answer it. let's take it all the way. if there was a central message to be taken out of vietnam, that surely was it. they were on home turf and had nowhere to go if there is a comparison to be drawn sometimes there are strategic reasons to be in afghanistan which don't or did not apply to be a non but focusing on the one central issue maybe he would follow up whenever
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incomplete answer that he gives. [laughter] there are analogies it definitely and if you look at what is going on like my father said in the first meeting that he is foreign policy team mike foster, not my father. [laughter] thank you. >> can i be your:father? [laughter] talking about afghanistan is not vietnam i think it has always been there with what is a comparison but yet you could say here is a reason that the u.s. went into afghanistan that is different from those reasons and there's a lot of
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differences but in the end will be in people's minds talking about troop levels that goes back to people's minds of the imam-- in vietnam and will reverberate when you hear that language going on. what is interesting is whenever president obama was trying to do he will get to criticism from either side about how much is needed and ends up with criticism and those that say it is too quick. he passed to take something of a middle course but in his mind and the advisers mind it will not go away.
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>> if you listen carefully to what people like general petraeus are saying and they don't say things like this lightly, they are really saying if you want to win this kind of a war, 20 or 50 years this is generational thing that the pentagon kept referring to as the long war. nobody uses that phrase any more. surely that has to be one of the lessons of vietnam's. i am not sure if we could avoid them in 50 years but afghanistan? is that one of the lessons? >> certainly. we have not touched on another point* that has to be raised within the obama/afghanistan context because that is where the
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nuclear weapons are. as we have discussed a number of times, one of the major reasons we are involved in afghanistan to begin with has to be keeping an eye up close on the pakistan nuclear stockpile and to make absolutely sure terrorist to not get their hands on them. that is the underlying theme and message when obama first came into came up with the idea that you have to see the two of them together and could not separate the two. what the president is doing right now in his speech is almost make a move toward separation. >> are we almost ready to go to questions? who has a microphone? >> bernie had the microphone
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[laughter] >> we have the microphone. i'm inclined to say some time it said it is difficult to get the first person to ask a question selects skip the first question going right to the second question. microphones? >> i have a question. 20/20 hindsight you feel the be a non more was a complete mistake are we making that now and afghanistan? not learning the lessons of the past? >> today is friday seto on money wednesday friday i answer that with acs but on weekends i am not sure. [laughter] the fact is i really am not sure. i study this the way the
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people have and sometimes i think there are reasons why we're there in the nuclear stockpile may be the most powerful reason why we are there and have to be close to where something they read dramatic and horrible could take place. but on the other hand, if you have been involved in a war for 10 years you could say a senator reagan did many years ago, you did the best you could then you leave. walter cronkite said that the february 1968 in 7 lost walter cronkite i have lost the heartland of america therefore i cannot continue the war anymore and i thought that was so little bit of that in his speech. other people things that not he but it was there.
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>> a couple of questions over here. >> this question may be a little far afield but one of the things is how america against the war coverage and might hugh speak about that? i haven't had a chance to read the book. it has only been in my hands one hour. >> cabbie been doing other things? >> crispies was very good. [laughter] but the yen, i was only up the very, very very, very tail of it. the officers i met that we came in contact with, and
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they were junior officers and as they have grown up to become senior officers today, their experience with the way the media dealt with them during vietnam has formed the way they want to deal with the media today. all of these restrictions and new methods the way it will be handled grow out of a frustration and a feeling the media ran rampant in vietnam that they would not let it run rampant with any other conflict. has you saw coverage changes to the goal for two currently the way it is handled in afghanistan and handled and i iraq if those are offshoots where you know, better you could
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wander off in the jungle. >> you are the old in dear friend. no speeches. just ask a question. >> talk about that. that is a legacy. >> you know, what about that better than i. >> this is your moment. >> the coverage of the day wore today because of the pervasiveness of the media is a central concern of any responsible leader. at the beginning of the iraq war, defense secretary rumsfeld and his press assistant secretary of public affairs she had this idea of embedding reporters with the soldiers it was an
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extremely important thing and why that was important because we went from a draft to a volunteer army and everything that followed. from when you have a draft you can have demonstrations to an and run into a severe domestic.
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>> let me add one observation to that very much a child of vietnam and one of the other haunting legacies of vietnam. it is now not just a volunteer army where you have paid draft budget it is
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taken one step further. you now have thousands of civilian contractors. much of the warfare is now being waged by a remote-controlled by drones. would be it is a perfect example with no boots on the ground if the draft was one reason why there's so much political opposition with back in the '60s that was largely removed from the volunteer army and is now taken to will hold new step which is a wonderful way of concealing military action the government is taking. >> we have a question
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upfront. >> i am a vietnam veteran and also keep a watch what is happening with the wars. right now when reporting from vietnam and everyone else was watching the war was center stage now we have wienergate and these guys are still dying the same way so how do get the focus back on the war? is the more they know about it a more they wanted over we never should have went into iraq. that just made it last longer and longer.
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>> i am not quite sure how to answer that question for you are right we are more preoccupied today given the nature of the media with trivia than we were back then. it was the three networks and it was that now you have three cable networks on all the time so they have to fill the time. that is 24 hours a day so they are prepared to put on just about anything. >> this year is another major reason if you heard the president in his speech what was he talking about? he was talking about money
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and then the to apply the money that we have to the domestic agenda of. he wasn't talking about the dead in iraq or afghanistan there are two reasons for that. because then vietnam's there were 300 dead very few daughters were the sons of people all around the country because there was a draft and that made a huge difference. >> dma the good point* about the changes of media over that period of time because i remember recently watching wonder two years ago this my a co-author brought some videos back when he was on the cbs news and i was
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struck by the amount of very serious discussion of issues going on in the sound bites going on for longer and people were allowed to speak for longer and they were much more in depth and it really struck me because as a child was watching this put the amazing change of the focus. >> we have time for two more questions. >> you have mentioned it was such a remarkable difference the way those presidents responded which mrs. suni was sent to their political party but it was there a suggestion that when president medicated with what happened on the previous presidents
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response? >> yes. each one learns from the other. reagan came up with an idea of what became the powell doctrine. that was a period of gestation of 10 years. he thought about that then the next guy in line picked that up absolutely 100%. when you got to clinton, the lesson that he learned was not to double or triple but to drop it like a hot potato which is what he did with some malia right after black hawk down. yes. they do learn from one another and when bush ii cayman it was vietnam be
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damned it was a negative view begets when the national security advisor game, had they told us that they had not take the job until they saw president bush and they told them in have they wanted nothing to do that. so they told bush if that is the ways you see the policy i will say no to the job offer and this is a very honorable lawyer you would never say no but he did. bush assured him that he recognize the danger and said this will not happen with me. so he took the job. >> where is the microphone over here?
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>> i want to raise two questions about the afghan pakistan is central to what we actually do in the coming months. first i would question if 10 years ago the existence of nuclear weapons was a consideration of any consequence entering into the war against afghanistan. i don't think so. then again, and now, one of the problems we have when we deal with foreign policy is we conjure up hour own views of the problems and how it ought to be solved. i would say today we don't
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see the fight against the taliban of our the taliban the same way as the afghan used to. i do not believe they are concerned about the pakistan nuclear weapons. i would like your comments. >> i agree. i don't think the pakistani nuclear weapons have very much to do with how we have responded. that came later when they were thinking of elaborating in a letter redoing? it was template a quick response to a horrific attack if the united states for about i would not be surprised with the sophisticated taliban are
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thinking in those terms i don't think the average guy is thinking about it but i think it takes extraordinary of leadership and intelligent leadership to see the full depth and the drive of history to determine what it is that you do today. one of the sad parts of vietnam over and over is how ignorant our leaders were about what was going on and i would venture to add, i am not sure we're all that smart about what goes on with afghanistan today. >> any closing thoughts? >> had generally that it has been a pleasure to work with the book with my father. [applause] i have learned a lot from him and thanks to my uncle who has helped a lot as well
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[applause] >> that is it? you left out your mother. [laughter] >> my mother, husband, a son, a stepson. >> you have been a delightful audience and i am afraid we have run at a time i know not questions but i have been told for every book that you buy mr. and mrs. kalb will entertain another question. [laughter] ten bucks? 10 questions. thank you all very much. [applause]
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>> july 18 this year the borders announced it would be liquidating the rest of the stores. joining us now is the news editor of publishers marketplace. see what happened in the weeks leading up through july 18? it seemed like borders would be resurrected or saved. >> it did seem that way. what happened is a private equity company based out of arizona that has direct brands and also owned what used to be known as book-of-the-month club played in a bid for approximately $215 million of assets and assume 220 million of liabilities prepare everything looked good until the beginning of this week when everything started to fall apart.
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creditors for brodeur at -- borders objected stinking the company was not entirely forthcoming late
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breaking development to a place where the third largest book chain in the country put in an offer for 30 stores and the details are still being worked out as of today but the judge approved a provisionally is just the creditors had concerns and to the best of my knowledge they are still working that out which means a good 369 stores are beginning liquidation proceedings there are 40% of
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sales and those who have their reward cards can use them and other discounts through august 5th and it means landlords can market those properties to others wants all of the stores close at the end of september. they're trying to get everything sold off as quick as possible and selling furniture and contracts are coming to an end so it is over. >> they will close at the end of september? how many employees? what is the revenue base? >> there are 10,700 employees who will lose their jobs at this point*. if maximilian comes through
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that may be to the retention between 1,000 in 1500 jobs but that is still a very small amount. of those employees approximately 4,000 are full-time employees of those working as well as those from the michigan headquarters. that is a tremendous loss to the overall economic climate now those that will be thrown into the economic climate that is hardly favorable at this point*. but for those to connect employees who were about to lose those jobs with those types of jobs that are available. it is also shining a light
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independent bookstores were greatly impacted by the rise of big bucks superstores so it would be interesting to see what they could do not just as borders retracts fifth and closes up shops as barnes & noble transitions into a digital format. >> what is the fiscal health of barnes & noble? >> that is in an interesting spot. record sales but because they spend so much money in terms of developing the know quote wind and the digital business they had to suspend the dividend for the last two quarters. wall street has not been entirely happy about this. there were also in the
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process of trying to sell themselves as of one year-ago in in early may, liberty media which is owned by john malone put in of bid at $17 a share and that is considered in the company is doing to diligence but it remains to be seen there are some favorable signs and also spoken highly of each other in the media, at this point*, perhaps not of up in the air but hardly a done deal. >> tell us about the publishers marketplace and if people want to follow you? >> i am a news editor for publishers marketplace which owns publishers lunch which reaches 40,000 subscribers to defined as that
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publishers marketplace.com. >> thank you for the update on borders. >> my pleasure. >> i have a list of books but some are unfinished some are you. the first book is a book about the whole issue of central asia where i think most of the politics of the next 25 years will occur. i have read chapters when i travel to various parts like indonesia but i want to read the whole book. i started in february. another book given to me from the american academy of engineers and i said to them what problems over the next
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20 or 30 years? he said i want you to read it. i could never re a perfect report and it is an issue that to we do need to think about in the future by george friedman wrote a book called the next 100 years which is a fascinating book that looks out who the major allies will be and lose to are involved have trouble with it with the next decade to see what will happen hadley's from the perspective of those who look at trends. when of the fascinating things in the first book was the country's we will be involved with our turkey and
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poland and i thought i never thought about that. then they said we will have a war with mexico. there was a lot of things that was the second book which is a little more down-to-earth. saying you ought to read the book so we get all kinds of books many are sent up to my office is but i also get people who recommend books to read to say you should read this book and one was sent to me my longtime secretary and it is about china. mrs. is a ymca